History Seminar show-and-tell features all

By Matthew Thomson - Staff Reporter

Items as varied as a Russian samovar and Soviet military medals to native American arrowheads, were just a few of the items that showed up at History Seminar's first-ever show and tell event last week. 

Attendees were given five minutes to present and describe their items.

 Professor Robin Enis Cantwell brought medals she was given during her time with American intelligence. 

Cantwell did some of the groundwork for the START treaty, during the 1980s that sought to curb nuclear war by maintaining the threat of mutually assured destruction. 

She also worked on the Star Wars missile defense initiative.  

While in the Soviet Union, Cantwell would be given medals and hats by Soviet officers who were intrigued by how unusual it was that a woman would be in the military in that day and age.

A Russian samovar was shown by an elderly man who did not introduce himself. A samovar is a sort of coal-powered hot water heater, used for making tea. 

A globe created after 1948, but before 1953, showed changes in the political boundaries immediately following WWII. The globe looked very different to what you might find on Google maps. It included the newly formed Israel, French West Africa, and Anglo-Egyptian-Soudan.

The latter two no longer exist, and Israel is much larger today. 

 Professor Tim McMannon, host of History Seminar, presented as well. He displayed a letter sent from the United States to relatives in Germany.  This letter was sent during the 1920s when inflation in Germany led to printing vast amounts of money that was virtually worthless.  The cost of sending a single letter could be billions of Deutschmarks. 

One economist present said "You could take the entire money supply of Germany in 1921 and not buy a book of matches."

Professor McMannon said Germany couldn't print money fast enough to keep up with the inflation, in the end this was solved by WWII and its aftermath. 

History Seminar is done for the quarter. Professor McMannon said that it will be returning in the fall and he is looking for potential presenters. Those interested should contact him at: Tmcmannon@highline.edu. 

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